Category Archives: Books

Cross-Cultural Bonds: From Russia, With `Toons

You don’t know his name, but you know his number. Meet Secret Agent 00X.

In 1979 the Ukrainian film-company Kiev-Nauch-Film made the cartoon The Adventures of Captain Vroungel, based on A. Nekrasov`s novel. It`s a funny story about Naval Captain Christopher Vroungel and his crew – Petty-Officer Lom (Crowbar) and sailor Fooks. They take part in a round-the-world voyage, and their rivals constantly try to spoil everything, but Vroungel is hard to beat: the Captain has something in common with the resourceful Robinson Crusoe AND the boastful Baron Munchausen. Describing his daring, unbelievable adventures, Vroungel slightly embellishes them, and that`s where his second name, Vroungel, comes from: in this context, the Russian word vroun means fibber.

The scriptwriters modernized the story, and made drastic plot changes, and added new characters, including the secret agent 00X. The cartoon began resembling a pastiche, even a parody of thrillers.

The director of a Western country yacht club organizes a round-the-world regatta. The famous Russian Captain Vroungel and his colleague, Petty-Officer Lom, are invited. Nobody links the regatta to the outrageous theft of the Venus sculpture which occurred the day before. Nobody knows that the yacht club director is a big-time gangster, or that the regatta is just a ruse to smuggle the Venus sculpture, out of the country. Moreover the director/gangster had forced Fooks, a guard at the Royal Museum, to steal the sculpture. Now Fooks, hiding the Venus in his Contrabass case, is to board the yacht Black Barracuda, which will take part in the regatta. But somehow Fooks spoils everything and becomes a sailor on Vroungel`s yacht, where a third crewmember is needed. Captain Vroungel knows nothing about the priceless sculpture in Fooks`s case. Having discovered Fooks`s failure, the director of the yacht club sends two of his top Italian gangsters – Juliko Bandito & De La Voro Gangsterito to capture Fooks and get the Venus back by any means. These guys are resourceful and ruthless; you wouldn`t want to meet them in a dark alley. The small one, Juliko Bandito is the brain. The other, De La Voro Gangsterito, is all muscle. And here the secret agent 00X enters the scene. Some powers-that-be send him to arrest the gangsters and find the Venus.

00X is just a supporting character, but his personality will interest Bond fans, because he resembles 007. So I`ll focus on him instead of Captain Vroungel`s crew and his fantastic naval adventures (I`ll just say that the cartoon has a HAPPY ENDING).

00X is an extraordinary spy with an extraordinary companion/transport: a dog-helicopter. This creature has a human brain, a dog`s loyalty and a helicopter`s flying ability.

Nobody gets close to him. Like James Bond, 00X dresses stylishly. Like a real spy, 00X is a master in close combat, a sharpshooter and has various spy gadgets, all of which miraculously fit in his jacket`s inner pockets and his valise. One of those gadgets, a “handy” tape-recorder, is almost as big as 00X himself.

Another gadget that might interest Bond fans – a petty cobra. 00X uses it to get into the castle of the yacht club director who masterminded the theft of the Venus. In Q`s laboratory in Octopussy, there`s a similar climbing device, only it`s mechanical. Nevertheless, the idea is the same, even though this cartoon was made in 1979, four years before Octopussy.

There are further Bond movie similarities. Some of the story takes place in an Egyptian pyramid. The scene where 00X chases the gangsters in the tomb corridors, somewhat resembles the scene in The Spy Who Loved Me where Jaws chases Bond & Anya amidst ancient Egyptian ruins. 00X`s unique “habit of surviving” mixes the similar abilities of 007 and Roger Rabbit. Throughout the cartoon, the Italian top-gangsters, Juliko Bandito & De La Voro Gangsterito, unsuccessfully try to kill 00X. In the cartoon, 00X was dropped into the ocean, incarcerated, electrified, blown up and buried alive in an Egyptian tomb… It didn`t help. Only once did the gangsters get rid of 00X briefly: a building fell onto the famous secret agent knocking him unconscious and temporarily flattening him (literally!). But it didn`t help either: 00X survived and soon continued to investigate. 00X is really hard to kill, just like James Bond. And like Roger Rabbit he has the fantastic ability to recover. 00X is as brave and fearless as 007. Once he followed the gangsters while sitting on the tail of their helicopter and luxuriously smoking a cigar. Who else can do this with a similar smile but Bond? However, the deadly team of gangsters are a real match for 00X, and while the gangsters constantly try to kill him – and fail – the secret agent tries busting them – and also fails.

For a supporting character, 00X is very remarkable, and he definitely resembles 007. 00X has James Bond`s essential features: he`s irresistible, invincible, has unique spy gadgets and super transport. He`s brave and always ready for danger. He`s devoted to his cause. And the Bondish “cruel smile” never leaves his face.

Note: in 1979, the average Russian still hadn`t seen the Bond movies and thus most of the in-jokes were lost upon them, although it`s almost a guarantee that the people who made this cartoon had.

Screenshots aretaken from The Adventures of Captain Vroungel. Copyright (c) 1979 by Kiev-Nauch-Film.

Devil May Care Review (No Spoilers)

Bond is back and this time, Sebastian Faulks has him. And what’s more, Fleming would have approved of this turn!

The Penguin British edition has lovely endpapers if a blasé dustjacket, no chapter page at all, but it’s honestly what’s inside the book that makes or breaks it…

Imagine, reading the opening of Devil May Care, Sebastian Faulks’ enviable (and yet, somehow, unenviable) assignment—to write AS Ian Fleming and bring Bond back somewhere between 007’s GOLDEN GUN mission and the events of COLONEL SUN. One could get fast annoyed with Faulks’ overuse of French idioms—Fleming smattered some foreign terms into his books but didn’t deluge the reader (pun intended). Soon, however, Bond enters the picture, and the picture grows brighter fast for us addicts of the genre.

The world is all as it should be—40-plus years before today. M is a crusty salt and Bond can bloody well wait for him to light his pipe, women’s lib hasn’t quite yet been invented and the CIA will do anything, anything at all, to win in Vietnam. Bond and the people of his Faulksian world are highly xenophobic, snobbish, sadistic and sexual.

Faulks’ pastiche is a veritable mélange of decapitations, dislocated shoulders and gruesome deaths—I have a strong stomach but was revulsed by some of his passages—and yet, of course, this edginess on the reader’s part is part and parcel of the Fleming effect.

The action takes place in four widely different countries, Faulks answers all the “what ifs” of bringing Bond back in the 2000’s—to back in the 1960’s—from getting 007 in shape for his mission with a little tennis (Tennish? I thought we were playing at half-pasht nine?) to drinking the right kinds of cocktails in the right cities to handling the inevitable endit romance.

This is more Fleming’s Bond than EON’s, a near humorless athlete challenged to the limits of physical and mental endurance, pitted against intelligent yet villainous slime, God save the Queen. There are also numerous continuity references, more than have ever been placed into a continuation novel. Interesting.

There is more action than I can remember in any of Gardner’s or Benson’s books or even Mr. Fleming’s. The novel feels like a Bond film with a big ending long before even bigger endings are attached. Bond and Co., including some very welcome old friends, also get into so many dust-ups that it’s a wonder any of them survive.

Although Faulks gets more confident in his handling of the material as the book progress, he comes remarkably close in the last half of the book to reading just like Ian Fleming. There were moments, even entire pages, where I could have been reading Fleming’s 007. A remarkable effort.

All in all, a fine read, and although I would have chosen some different paths for our man (Opium smuggling? I was relived when the Dr. Gorner chap finally tried to properly blow up half the world…). I would be quite pleased to see Sebastian Faulks pen a few more Bond novels going forward.

Read the bloody book so we can properly discuss it, already.

Quantum of Attractiveness

Quantum of Solace will be the headline title for a collection of Fleming’s Bond short stories from For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy & The Living Daylights. Such news is old, however, a very attractive new edition is forthcoming.

Designed to match the excellent Penguin American softcovers of recent years, the new edition looks to be a winner. Order yours now!

Fun Foreign Books

Here is a compilation of some fun, foreign 007 titles:


Brazilian Portuguese Dr. No


Chinese High Time to Kill

Colombian On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Croatian Moonraker

Czech Carte Blanche

Danish Dr. No

Dutch The Spy Who Loved Me in Fleming set

Estonian Live and Let Die


French High Time to Kill


Hebrew On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Hungarian You Only Live Twice

Cleverly designed as a skull when inverted, also



Italian Icebreaker


Korean piracy editions

Norwegian Thunderball



Spanish Goldfinger

Swedish For Your Eyes Only

Thai piracy edition (Moonraker cover art)

Turkish The Spy Who Loved Me


Breaking News – Vic Flick’s New Autobiography

Vic Flick, Guitarman
From James Bond to the Beatles and Beyond

…is due in stores this August from BearManor Media. The UJBFB is pleased to be the first to report the exciting news!

Get excited about this title–one of the more provocative and perky Bond offerings of recent days–from the master musician of 007’s Signature Theme himself!

Vic Flick is a wonderful fellow, with a heart of gold and a guitarist’s silver-picking fingers. Besides work on many of Bond’s biggest hits (and a long-lost collaboration on a Bond theme update with Eric Clapton), Vic has strummed and composed beside a Who’s Who of the music world for decades.

You may pre-order Vic Flick, Guitarman now and be the first fans to receive the collectible first printing.

We will be posting here at UJBFB exclusive book details in the days leading up to the book’s release, including our book preview and review, fan memories and more, so watch this space for updates.

Vic’s James Bond NOW, smashing updates of Bond tunes plus original 007-inspired works, is available now for purchase or download at Amazon. You might also enjoy Vic’s backing for the James Bond Collection Box Set of recent years.

For more on Vic’s inspiring career, visit his official website. Meanwhile, be among the first to pre-order the book today! Enjoy…

Bond Puzzle Secreted: Or Is It?

My new book is out today at Amazon, and other fine outlets. Although it is on a subject touching Bond incidentally, as pool and billiards are exclusively seen in Goldfinger and The World Is Not Enough, nevertheless, I saw fit to hide inside the Picture Yourself Shooting Pool book and DVD a 007-themed puzzle, which Bond fans may solve to win prizes. Call it a “labor of love…”

I am offering sets of Bond prizes to anyone able to read the puzzle printed below and solve the cryptic 007 mystery.

“PERHAPS IF I HAD BEEN ABLE TO READ THIS BOOK before my untimely “accident” in Diamonds Are Forever, I would not have drowned in the pool…

Pun intended…”

– Lana Wood
Plenty O’Toole in Diamonds Are Forever

…While I’m sure you’ll like page 147 of Picture Yourself Shooting Pool, “Diamonds Are Forever” or page 61, “Now Pay Attention, 007”, answer me this, “Who Captured James Bond?”

Chapter 16: The Harder They Fall

James Bond cleared his throat before lighting his first gold-tipped Morland of the afternoon. 007 mused over his options as his smoke drifted lazily toward the ceiling of his hotel room. Blofeld had a high opinion of himself, too high, if you asked Bond.

How was Blofeld building his game? How on earth was he maintaining his personal round table of villainy this time?

It all came down to the century of money, the 1900’s. Green was its color, and it was an effective winding sheet, too. From that time, it was a simple matter of counting correspondence going forward. Sixty (or four times fifteen) gave the score, thought Bond.

Later on, (just a mere page later in our narrative) Bond knew that finding Bob Meucci could yield much the same information. This time it was five steps forward of fifteen missives each from Meucci to the skilled ones.

Another page passed and Bond was willing to pay lots of money for one tip. But 007 discovered nearby that what you’re used to playing with could also lead you to form a false opinion.

In that false opinion, taken from the top, Bond counted letters, four down, three down, three down, five up, one up to know who he was dealing with. His capture was imminent.


More Details On Flick Autobio

From BearManor Media’s official release:

This book is by a musician who worked in every major recording and television studio in London during that wonderful musical period of the 1960s and 1970s.

One of the first call session guitarists in the UK, Vic Flick has a bounty of true stories. Stories of the drama and humor, the tensions and the rewards of working with first class musicians and internationally known artists in the world of recording, Television and Radio.

Vic Flick’s connection with the James Bond films is legend. His guitar sound on the James Bond Theme stirred the hearts and imaginations of a generation. Here is a book that tells of the music business from the inside, about the music, the good and the bad business practices, the money, the agents and the managers.

From the Beatles to Nancy Sinatra, from Tom Jones to Dusty Springfield, it’s all within the pages of Vic’s autobiography. —Order your copy today.

“Gloria”, Bond and All

Gloria Hendry’s new autobiography, Gloria, several years in the making, is on sale this week.

Fellow Bond alum and bestselling author, Lana Wood of Diamonds Are Forever, comments:

“Gloria (my dear friend) has written a heartbreaking, courageous book. I laughed and cried and was proud to call her a friend with bravery and honesty in excess! It is a true example of overcoming odds. I welcome her as a fellow author.”

The book contains insights from Gloria’s groundbreaking career as actor, entertainer, advocate and civic leader. Of course, Live and Let Die and the perils and pleasures of Bond are discussed at length.

The new book is available now from Xlibris. Enjoy, fans!

A Boy Called “Bond”

I’ve just finished two of Dave Pelzer’s titles, from the inspiring writer of A Boy Called “It”, a book which remained on the bestseller list for 6 years.

The Privilege of Youth and The Lost Boy contain numerous references to James Bond and the films of Dave’s teen years from You Only Live Twice through The Man With The Golden Gun. A favorite moment has Dave and a friend flipping a car accidentally onto two wheels (Pelzer wanted to be a stuntman in his teens) then telling people they meant to do it all along (!), like Bond in his cherry-red Mach 1 in Diamonds Are Forever.

Pelzer’s books are noteworthy on their own, and he has been recognized for his inspiring achievements by three U.S. Presidents, yet it was fun to see James Bond bits scattered throughout his nonfiction “novels” of adventure.

Vic Flick: Guitarman!

Vic Flick’s new book just arrived in my mail box and looks good so far!

I am reprinting an excerpt from my liner notes for James Bond NOW, one of Vic’s 007 tribute albums including original works and covers of Bond’s best…

Vic Flick: An Appreciation

Every frustrated guitarist has at some point in their lives practiced “air guitar” in front of a mirror or brandished a cricket bat or tennis racket as a means of emulating an axe-wielding great. Of that, I am certain. We’ve all done it; myself included.

Before I began to string a few chords together, there was only one record I ever wanted to “accompany”…the John Barry Seven’s legendary recording of “The James Bond Theme.” Me, I wanted to play like Vic Flick. In fact, when I “played” my note perfect rendition, I was Vic Flick, transported back in time to Abbey Road Studios, circa 1962, where I was leading a full orchestra into recording history. For me, “The James Bond Theme” is the definitive guitar-based instrumental bar none and the most famous film theme of all time.

As such, Vic Flick’s contribution to the success of the Bond series should never be underestimated and, remains, to this day, as vital as Maurice Bender’s opening title sequences and as innovative as “Q’s” gadgetry. Can you imagine a Bond film without its trademark theme? I thought not. This compilation is, therefore, a fitting tribute to a consummate professional and much underrated talent, whose elegant style has graced more hits than you would ever thinkpossible.

Yes, Vic Flick is the Sean Connery of the electric guitar. Accept no impostors.

Pete Walker is co-author of “John Barry: A Life In Music”

Interesting Snippet

Rosamund Pike at the Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)

Palladium October Fleming Event

Here’s an interesting snippet a friend sent about the upcoming Sir Roger Moore/Rosamund Pike event in October.

Pike from Die Another Day will be reading as Honeychile Rider of Ian Fleming’s Dr. No as part of the centenary celebration.

In Secret Service

Getting caught up on my reading. There are always Bond books being sent my way and this one I found for myself, following a recommendation by top Bond book collector Steve Kulakoski.

Mitch Silver’s first novel, In Secret Service, revolves around a “lost Ian Fleming manuscript” called Provenance. The entire text of Provenance is woven into the narrative including photos, documents and “historical” letters!

Have Ian Fleming rob the Queen Mother and gigolo on the orders of Winston Churchill and you start to get an idea of the fun. Silver effectively weaves his threads and makes the madcap action interesting and plausible.

A great fictional Fleming read.

Bond Bound In Manhattan Now

Bonham’s New York is featuring BOND BOUND, fabulous 007 collectibles and book history through November 3. From what I have seen of the show, they have many, many Bond book covers and artwork on display I do not have in my archives… photo documents would be great to have as neither Deb nor I can get away to NYC to see the show.

The show runs through November 3 at Bonhams Auctions House at 57th and Madison Avenue and is free during all opening hours. Thank you!

Mon-Sat 10am – 5pm
Sunday Noon – 5pm

580 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022
(212) 644 9001

Signed Rare Collectible For Charity

I send a regular eZine out that goes to Bond actors, production team members, spy authors and many fans who are memorabilia collectors.

I frequently post items on eBay or direct through the eZine for pals. Sometimes the item hails right from the famous actor.

A kind man has a VERY valuable Bond item online this week and the first $1,000 benefiting charity. Please review his eBay listing. The hook is the book is currently sold up to almost $8,000 US at this popular site but is selling for under $500 now as of this writing. Go for it!

Thank Goodness, 007

Thank goodness, 007.

In his Ian Fleming’s Seven Deadlier Sins & 007’s Moral Compass, author Benjamin Pratt highlights James Bond’s function as an essential archetype, the (sometimes) last good guy fighting the ultimate baddies, St. George against the Dragon.

While declamations such as “Watch the birdie, you bastard!” or “Welcome to Hell, Blofeld!” are less saintly than would receive canonization in a typical church, Bond is, deep down, one of the good dudes.

The British anti-hero who quips than grips the nearest deus ex machina to pound a villain into pudding has inspired a hundred John McClanes, Terminators and Dirty Harrys, and has hailed from the ranks of Bugs Bunny and Batman, but there is simply never a shade of doubt about him. James Bond is good.

Several times at the google group, there have been epic discussions over whether Bond can be a civil service murdered yet a moral agent, a flaming fornicator yet a man men want their kids to be like, a dude who demolishes more real estate than five crane operators yet a friend to those who have no friends. In fact, the threads such as “Bond Should Not Sleep With Many Women” have been far and away the most popular threads in the history of the group.

So how about it, fans? What makes Bond, who is really, really bad, so good?

Wow…what a topic. I just have time for a few quick thoughts, but I think that a lot of it has to do with a post WWII British sense of right versus wrong that Fleming imbued in his novels. When you get right down to to, Bond is essentially a government hit man more than anything, which can be good, or bad, depending on your side of the fight. I’ll have to check out that Google group.


Bond is an immoral agent for a moral cause, and he knows it. Hence he lives in the moment. He is fundamentally existential; life is fleeting and without meaning, so only the temporal pleasures matter.

Bond may not believe in existentialism for everyone, just for himself. England, he believes, is a force of moral good in the universe. But the work his country needs him to do compromises his own morality, hence he is without moral standing in the world and indulges in pleasurable sins to sustain himself.

Flapflop said, in May 7th, 2009 at 3:05 am
In fact, Bond gets an assignment to investigate something or someone and if on the job he thinks its necessary to kill a person to save the world, England, country he is in, his partners on the job or himself he may kill. So yes he is a bad guy himself if youre not on his side. The old saying a terrorist is another mans freedom fighter really applies to the bond universe.

When he gets the assignement for a direct kill Englands thinks necessary he normally isn’t allowed to make his own opinion about that person good or badness and maybe not kill him. He has to follow orders.

But in the movies we often see the opposite. Het gets the order, goes there, finds out its the wrong one and kills another. Or he is dilluded in thinking its wrong but in the end he could have saved much sorrow if he immedeately killed the person he had to kill without questions answered.

In this last trap most Bond baddies fall. If the had shot Bond at first sight there plans would not fail and the would have lived to take over the world.

From Holland with love


Interesting read. I dare say though, that while Bond is a “killer” most of his kills are actually in self-defense (whether they were an initial target for a kill or not). I am not saying this justifies the killing, but how many cold-blooded, unprovoked kills does Bond have (at least in the films)?

Dr. No
— Dr. No tried to kill him first.
— Professor Dent tried to kill him first

— Red Grant tried to kill him first

— Odd Job tried to kill him first
— GF died his own death

— Vargas tried to kill him first

etc, etc.

Feeling Bookish

For two hours on May 28 you could have spent £750 on a special, limited edition of The Devil May Care, the new James Bond Novel written by Sebastian Faulks. Published by Penguin in collaboration with Bentley, Bond’s car manufacturer of choice, each book comes in a burnt oak leather case sourced from the tannery in Italy which supplies the hides for Bentley’s interiors. Purchasers also receive a 1:43 scale replica of the modified Bentley R type that featured in Thunderball and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. (The car never actually existed but Bentley based the miniatures on Fleming’s detailed descriptions.)

Would it have been worth it? From a purely financial viewpoint the answer seems to be a resounding ‘yes’. Only sixteen days later a copy has appeared on the Abe Books website priced at $3,500 (around £1,780). In just over two weeks the book has more than doubled in value.

Meet James Bond Author Raymond Benson

The Palatine Public Library Foundation and the Palatine Rotary Club will present “Shaken Not Stirred” at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Cotillion, 360 Creekside Drive in Palatine, IL. The evening will include wine tasting, gourmet canapes, live music, a silent auction and a chance to win $5,000 and meet James Bond author Raymond Benson.

A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit a special project, administered by Palatine Township Elementary School District 15, designed to encourage reading among families with preschool children in Northeast Palatine Township.

Tickets are $30 per person or $250 for 10. Raffle tickets are $100 each. For details or to purchase tickets, call Dan Armstrong at (847) 358-5881, Marsha Pask at (847) 304-4295, Rob Gerowitz at (847) 705- 7777 or Bill Buchta at (847) 304-4299.

raymond benson appearances

Raymond Benson has authored ten full-length Bond novels and books about the James Bond phenomenon. Below are upcoming appearances where fans may meet Mr. Benson. He also appeared at BCW’s Bond Weekend IV.

JUNE 12, 2002
12:30 p.m.
Borders, 150 North State St. Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 606-0750
Book signing, discussion

JUNE 15, 2002
1:00 p.m.
Barnes & Noble, 728 Waukegan Road Deerfield, IL 60015 (847) 914-9293
Book signing, discussion

AUGUST 3-4, 2002
(Saturday – Sunday)
Flashback Weekend Horror & Sci Fi Convention
Visit for more
Book signings, lecture

Eye Am A Scottish Peasant

Ian Fleming at his desk at Goldeneye, Jamaica
With the recent happy announcement that Sean Connery is dubbed a knight of the realm on behalf of Her Majesty’s Non-Secret Service to Great Britain (along with Bond ambassadors-at-large Jane Seymour and Shirley Bassey) we recall to mind the 00-turn down of a similar offer of knighthood by James B. in Ian Fleming’s “the Man With The Golden Gun” as follows:


Mary Goodnight broke in, horrified. “James. The rest is your business, but you really can’t say that last bit.”

Bond nodded. “I was only trying it on you, Mary. All right, let’s start again at the last stop. Right…


…[Bond to Goodnight] “I just refuse to call myself Sir James Bond. I’d laugh at myself every time I looked in the mirror to shave.”

Long live the peasant, and so say all of us! Happy landings, Sir Sean!

Lucy Fleming

Lucy Williams (nee Fleming) was born May 15th, 1947. Her father, writer/author Peter Fleming (1907-1971), remarked that by age 10, she was a “good horsewoman”, and by age 14, a “keen and talented shot”: “She began by hitting a woodcock and a driven cock pheasant – never having handled a shotgun before – the first time I took her out, and went on to shoot consistently well. I suppose I enjoyed her prowess and her companionship as much as I have enjoyed anything in the way of shooting.”

Her mother, actress Celia Johnson (1908-1982), is best known for her Academy Award nominated performance in David Lean`s film BRIEF ENCOUNTER (co-written by Ian and Ann Fleming`s friend Noel Coward). Lucy Fleming followed in her mother`s footsteps having wanted to be an actress ever since seeing her mother perform in the Robert Bolt play THE FLOWERING CHERRY. She began with the Farnham repertory company and subsequently went on to the Royal Court Theatre. She even appeared with her mother in several productions including a revival of the Noel Coward play HAY FEVER, and the 1968 BBC production (co-starring Charles Gray; Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the Bond film DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER). She married Joe Laycock (son of Major-General Sir Robert Laycock, an old Peter Fleming friend) in 1971 and they had several children. After a family tragedy in the early 1980s, she married actor/writer Simon Williams, best known for playing the part of Captain Bellamy in the British series UPSTAIRS,DOWNSTAIRS, and also portrayed Nigel Pennington-Smythe in the 1983 tv movie THE RETURN OF THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E (featuring one-time James Bond George Lazenby in a Bondish cameo), and wrote the novels TALKING OSCARS (pub 1988) and KILL THE LIGHTSS (pub 1991).

Lucy Fleming`s step-children, Tam and Amy Williams also act, though her own son designs websites. According to Lucy Fleming, “For an actor there`s a rather worrying time when the final dress rehearsal is over and there`s an hour or so to kill before you present the play to its first audience. There`s not much to do except heed the director`s last-minute notes, open some good-luck cards and panic.” These are her screen credits:,+Lucy (So why don`t the Bond producers give her a cameo in a film?)

She starred in the 70`s cult tv series THE SURVIVORS and was recently seen in the miniseries adaptation of Anthony Powell`s A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME. Lucy Fleming complained in an interview about the lack of film and tv parts for women her age, so instead has appeared mostly on the stage, quite recently in her own husband`s play LAYING THE GHOST.

Her husband told the Daily Mail that “She doesn`t like to be told what to do, so it was a tricky business getting her to do it. Cleverly, I persuaded her by simply leaving the manuscript lying around the house and when she eventually asked who was going to play Judith, I replied sheepishly: “I was rather hoping you would, my dear.” They are in rehearsal and I keep wanting to make the odd little change . . . so I`ve been banned. They`ve even put a combination lock on the rehearsal room!”

In 1993 Lucy Fleming was one of two people selected from 2,687 entrants for the Times sponsored berth in the around-the-world BT Global Challenge voyage, but was forced to withdraw after her brother Nichol died unexpectedly from a heart-attack, aged 56 (the same age as their uncle Ian Fleming when he died). She later wrote a delightful article in The Spectator describing her participation in the 40-day, 7000 mile leg five of the race spanning from Capetown, South Africa to Boston. She was put in charge of weather faxes for her watch, suspecting that this was a wheeze for getting useless crew members out of the way:

“Food started off very promisingly but things declined as the fresh food ran out and dried goods appeared looking like dog food and, even after much inventive preparation, mostly tasting pretty similar. Drinks were the usual hot ones or something called “refresh”, which didn`t. The watermaker converted salt water into slightly less salty water and made a noise like a gout ridden MFH every time it started up. All the crew were issued with a chocolate and sweet ration, known as the nutty bag. Sadly, my family have now applied this title to me.”

Kate Fleming writes that “Lucy and I […] were on the wild side; Lucy was a tomboy and was always at the top of a tree or racing about on a pony. I was very shy and shot upstairs whenever anyone visited the house. Neither of us would put on a dress if we could possibly help it. Our manners left a lot to be desired.” Moreover their childhood home, “Merrimoles”, was intentionally overrun by many unorthodox pets: labradors, a poodle, a cat, ponies, at least one horse, owls, a dormouse, two fox cubs, a raven and a grey squirrel named “Nutto”.

Peter Fleming once wrote in his diary: “Woken early by the patter of tiny feet. Yaks, if stampeded, would make more noise, but not much more noise, than Kate (three) and Lucy (two), who constitute a knockabout turn known as the Reveille Girls.” [He goes on to say about his dogs, “Wonder what Pavlov would have made of Toby and Trigger, who never budge from the bed in my dressing-room until I start brushing my hair. Have tried going downstairs without brushing my hair. Sticklers for protocol, they stayed where they were.” He also left his family the following arrangements for his own funeral: “If there is a memorial service, I would like it to be at the Guards Chapel; the parking facilities are unrivalled.” His final instruction was, “No mourning.”] Both girls were sent off to Cranborne Chase school in Dorset (Kate in 1959, Lucy in 1960), and afterwards Peter Fleming remarked that “the patter of your tiny feet is sadly missed.”

Lucy Fleming: Born 5/15/1947

Geoffrey Boothroyd

Geoffrey Boothroyd, the real life model for “Q”, died October 20, 2001, following a short illness.

Boothroyd was a world-renowned gun expert who wrote hundreds of articles for gun magazines, including several specifically about James Bond’s guns. He first wrote to Ian Fleming in the mid-fifties to complain about the type of
gun that Bond used. According to Boothroyd, the Beretta (used by Bond in the first five novels) was more of a ladies’ gun, and not a very nice lady at that!

At Boothroyd’s suggestion, Fleming equipped Bond with the Walther PPK which has now become virtually synonymous with Bond. Fleming subsequently named his armourer Major Boothroyd of Q section, though the films have always referred to the character simply as Q (except for “The Spy Who Loved Me”, in which Anya addresses Q as Major Boothroyd).

The actual Walther PPK which Boothroyd loaned to Fleming, along with his highly modified Smith & Wesson revolver which appears on the first edition dust jacket of From Russia, With Love, were auctioned by Christie’s in September 1998, and are now the property of Ian Fleming Foundation member Brad Frank, who had corresponded with Boothroyd several times since the sale.

Boothroyd’s daughter Susan, who worked with her father over the last ten years, will be launching a new firearms research web page on March 25. The address is:

007 debut gets Gaelic translation

One of Britain’s best-loved spy stories has been translated into Manx.

Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale – which introduced the world to James Bond – is now available in Gaelg paperback.

Culture Vannin was given a ‘licence to print’ the 1953 book by the deceased author’s estate, and translation was lovingly undertaken by Bob Carswell.

The book is available at Culture Vannin’s headquarters in St John’s.

It’s one of a number of modern works spun in Manx – as Culture Vannin’s Language Development Officer Adran Cain explains: ‘Manx literature goes back a very long way, certainly in translation form – the Bible in the eighteenth century, which was a great achievement culturally, I think. It’s about changing people’s perceptions – stuff like The Gruffalo, Casino Royale, Murder on the Orient Express – that’s slightly more sexy stuff than a lot of Manx iiterature in the past, which has been religious. It’s good to have that sort of context – it changes perceptions.’


Ta’n ennym orrym Bond…

Nane jeh skeealyn-speeikear smoo ennoil y Vretyn Vooar, t’eh er ny hyndaa gys Gaelg.

‘Casino Royale’ Ian Fleming – hug James Bond da’n teihll – t’eh ry-gheddyn nish ayns coodagh-pabyrey Gaelg.

Va kied er ny chur da Culture Vannin y lioar veih nuy cheead jeig, tree-jeig as daeed y chlou. Ghow Bob Carswell ayns laue dy chur y lioar gys Gaelg dy graihagh.

Ta’n lioar ry-gheddyn ec ard-offish Chulture Vannin ayns Balley Keeill Eoin.

She fer ass paart dy lioaryn jeianagh ayns Gaelg t’ayn – myr ta Adrian Cain, Offishear-Lhiasee Chulture Vannin, sollshaghey magh: ‘Ta lettyraght Ghaelgagh goll er-ash ayns traa feer foddey, son shickyrys stoo bentyn da Baarle çhyndait gys Gaelg – y Vible sy hoghtoo eash jeig, va ny chooilleeney yindyssagh dy cultooroil, er lhiam. T’eh bentyn da caghlaa eieiyn sleih – stoo gollrish Yn Gruffalo, Casino Royale, Dunverys ayns Express y Niar – shen beggan ny smoo seksee na ram lettyraght Ghaelgagh ymmodee blein er dy henney, va dy bollagh crauee. S’mie yn red eh dy vel y sorçh shen dy chonteks ayn, t’eh caghlaa eieyn.’

Bond Collectible Going Out Of Print

Due to a licensing difficulty, the “Cheapass Games” intriguing offer, “Before I Kill You, Mr. Bond” is going out of print at the end of August, after which the item may no longer be sold or offered at the Cheapass website.

The game places you as James Bond, trying to stall a villain from murdering you by gettting him to talk and boast about his plan!

Games are available to purchase at:

Cheapass Games.


In other collectibles news, one of the two Octopussy Bede Jets was auctioned off by Maud Adams and Bianca Jagger last week on an American Movie Classics Live Auction but failed to meet its $200,000 reserve, despite Jagger’s encouragement that the lucky winner could easily fit the 300 m.p.h. jet in their garage.

Fleming’s Real Life Spy’s Passport

LONDON (Reuters) – A passport that James Bond creator Ian Fleming used in a real-life wartime spy mission fetched $24,850 at auction Thursday, more than five times the estimate, Sotheby`s said.

Fleming used the passport during a secret World War II operation, code named “Goldeneye,“ to ensure that communications between London and Gibraltar would remain open if Spain had taken Germany`s side. Fleming`s role was to set up the “Goldeneye“ office in the British colony at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea and persuade the United States to collaborate in the mission.

The passport — stamped “Valid for a journey to Gibraltar and return“ on Feb. 16, 1941– had been expected to fetch between $3,000-$4,800, Sotheby`s said. Fleming, whose novels about the suave, fictitious secret agent inspired the blockbuster film series, named his house in Jamaica “Goldeneye“ — also the title of a 1995 Bond screen adventure starring Pierce Brosnan as agent 007.

Collecting the Asian World of James Bond

In Roger Somchai ’s own words for 007Forever (Roger is a super-collector of Asian Bond goodies):

“About myself, I was a 007 fan since I was a child, I love 007’s artwork first, then music, then movies. My favorite Bond is Roger Moore and “Spy” is my favorite film. In fact, I enjoy nonstop big scenes, new devices and exciting stunning locales more than the story, so “You Only Live Twice” and “Moonraker” are also my Bonds to love. In my homepage, every item is for sale, but I myself have many, not for sale items…maybe 1,000 items? They represent my collection since I was a child and sites like 007Forever, Lee Pfeiffer’s site, and auctions online also help me plenty.

Because I am a TV station’s supervisor and run work for a local “infotainment” program, I always have chance to know more, see more and even get more…last year when Pierce Brosnan came to Hong Kong for the Tomorrow Never Dies movie I got the chance to interview with him face to face, but I did not have courage to take pics with him! What a pity!! In fact, he had come here twice and I met him twice and lost my chances twice too! [Not good, because You Only Film Twice–Editors]

I have “good connections” in Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong so I can get official stuff so very easily for the fans of 007Forever.

In my personal collection, my favorite piece is a 007-logo shaped radio, I got it two years before now when I went to New York and visited the home of SpyGuise [Lee Pfeiffer’s shop]. The clock was made in Hong Kong and came from the early 1970’s, very Roger Moore, I love it very much! In fact, I have spent so much money in my collection, that online purchases are every night’s job…help me, I can’t stop it! I hope that my so-called Bond business can make me some money back…not profit, at least not to lose too much, anyway! Last year when I went to Japan, I bought some rare Bond items.

I got an old OHMSS poster, original “From Russia” program sheet and a nice Thunderball model, the prices were really very high and at that time I thought that the other Bond fans will be interested with them…but now the fact is that no one would like to buy them so finally they became part of my own collection. Poor me, right?

About the Bond Collectors’ Weekend in New Orleans, I will not be visiting, probably, because it’s a little too far from Hong Kong. Come here instead! [Maybe we will for BCW 2001–Editors]

I, myself, besides Bond, am also a collector of camouflage gear, I collect every possible item of camouflage color, and would like to be a camouflage man or secret agent.

I look forward to trading items with the 007Forever Bond fans. Write soon!
Yours, Roger”

You may write Roger Somchai and see his pages at Asian Bond Collectibles.

Collecting Great Spies With Danny Biederman

Danny Biederman is a screenwriter, author, and consultant specializing in movie and TV spy fiction. His credits include scripts for NBC and ABC TV shows, including the MGM spy series Gavilan starring Robert Urich, and The Avengers: The Journey Back hosted by Patrick Macnee. He produced and directed the documentary A Spy For All Seasons featuring Sean Connery and developed scripts for Paramount’s The Renegades, and the children’s series
Bugzburg and James Bond, Jr.

Biederman has worked extensively for MGM Studios as a special consultant on the James Bond property, providing expert advice on all aspects of the world’s most famous fictional spy. He is the author of EMI’s The Best of Bond…James Bond, an internationally marketed CD booklet covering the entire history of the 007 film series. Danny has been published in dozens of international magazines and best-selling books. He has written about the spy genre for such publications as Playboy, the Los Angeles Times, P.O.V., and Emmy. He has also consulted on the world of pop spies for American Movie Classics, Landmark Theaters, American Cinematheque, Taft Entertainment, MGM, and veteran producer Sam Rolfe.

Biederman lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Bea, and their children Illya, Moriah Flint, and Bond-all named for fictional spies.

–Watch for our soon upcoming interview with Danny Biederman at 007Forever. Danny’s collection has recently made trips to top spy shows and a special, private showing inside CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia!

Totally Banned

Canadian Bond fans who have been hunting high and low for the Special Collector`s Edition of TV Guide, with the cover story of “Totally Bond”, need not bother; TV Guide is not distributing the edition outside of the United States at this time, nor is it translating it into it`s Spanish editions. Instead, TVGuide Live is offering Canadian readers a cover story on Lisa Kudrow, star of “Friends, where she talks about her role as Phoebe Buffet.

What non-U.S. Bond fans won`t get a chance to read is Raymond Benson`s exclusive short story “Live at Five”, set in a Chicago television station and of course, featuring James Bond. Also, as mentioned here exclusively several weeks ago, the Special Edition also features a Bond Girls Reunion, with several Bond Girls from past films getting together for a photo shoot and reminiscing over old times.

The lead story on Brosnan can be found at TV Guide, entitled “Bond and Beyond”. It doesn`t contain much in the way of news that long time Bond fans would find interesting, but it at least will give you a taste of what you`re missing. Also at TV Guide and TV Guide Live you can order back issues, special issues (presumably this one) and send your unhappy email about this situation to the distribution and marketing department.